Hidden gems of Sarlat-la-Canada

Lanternes des Morts

Behind the cathedral of Saint Sacerdos you can find the lantern for the dead towering over the cemetery. There are several possible reasons to why it was built, one theory is thought to be that during the middle ages the tradition was to save the soul of the deceased by lighting a candle in this monument and keeping it burning until the body was buried. Another idea is that the name was originally “Lantern of the Moors”, a monument built in memory of the second crusade, this would explain its Islamic style. At that time not many people could read or write, the pronunciation of “Moors” is the same as “Morts” (meaning dead)

During the summer months Sarlat holds several festivals that spread throughout the streets of Sarlat. To the right of the lanternes des morts is a natural amphitheatre where concerts are held.

Lantern of the dead

Lantern of the dead

This is an unusual view of the Cathedral of Saint Sacerdos

massive buttresses

notice the massive buttresses which are not so obvious from the front.

In the stone wall at the left hand side and rear of the cathedral there are several medieval tombs.

Tombs behind the cathedral

tombs behind the cathedral

Manor De Gisson

The Manor de Gisson, is a listed building in the protected old quarter of Sarlat and is well worth a visit. It is to be found at the top end of the Place de la Liberte, just past the indoor market. You will pass the massive doors on the left that lead to what was the ancient church of Sainte-Marie which is now the indoor market, selling the most delicious macaroons you have ever tasted. The walnut stall sells walnuts covered in toffee or chocolate, other stalls sell cakes, local wines and cheeses etc.

Manor De Gisson

Manor De Gisson

The Manor De Gisson is formed by two constructions of different architecture, linked with each other by a grand spiral staircase inside a hexagonal tower, which dates back to the 13th century.

Stone spiral staircase

Stone spiral staircase

La Cuisine

La Cuisine

La Boudoir

La Boudoir

There is much more to see including “the terrasse”, which overlooks the indoor market, “the grand salon” depicting domestic luxury at the height of 17th century and the “strange cabinet of curiosities”.



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